Sydney, Australia Joins the IGH AP2CH Campaign; CAEH’s 2019 Conference; Working Group Pushes for UN’s Increased Engagement to End Homelessness; and More

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The 2019 National Conference on Ending Homelessness

The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH) will host their National Conference on Ending Homelessness on November 4-6, 2019 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The conference program will cover a range of topics in homelessness, designed to support and accelerate the end of homelessness in Canada by equipping participants with the tools and training they need to end homelessness in their communities. Online registration, scholarship applications and presentations are now open for submission.

Learn more here.

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Sydney, Australia Joins the A Place to Call Home Campaign

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This week, Sydney, Australia announced their participation in the IGH A Place to Call Home Campaign as the tenth vanguard city. Premier of New South Wales, Australia, Gladys Berejiklian, pledged the local government’s commitment to reduce the number of people experiencing street homelessness by 50% by the year 2025. “We are working hard to break the cycle of homelessness with the latest street count showing a significant reduction in the number of rough sleepers in Sydney,” said Berejiklian.

Read more here.

Hospitals House Patients Experiencing Homelessness

“Health systems can’t pay for us to get out of our affordable housing crisis,” said Rachel Solotaroff, MD, president and CEO of Central City Concern – a nonprofit homelessness and substance abuse service agency.

In 2015, The University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago (UI Health) began a three-year pilot project to house 25 frequent emergency department patients, with chronic health conditions, experiencing homelessness. The Chicago Center for Housing and Health provided a case manager, health care coordination, and other support services to participants. Due to the success of the Better Health Through Housing project, UI Health doubled the number of recipients and plans to further expand. The program is one of a growing number of housing initiatives supported by healthcare systems across the United States. In this article, Bridget M. Kuehn of JAMA Network discusses how an overworked healthcare system can become strained and initiatives like these can alleviate it.

Read more here.

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UN Working Group Discusses Tackling Street Homelessness Head-on

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The United Nations (UN) NGO Working Group to End Homelessness gathered in New York City, New York, USA to brainstorm on proposed long-term goals of UN engagement in ending global street homelessness. The 27-member working group discussed existing efforts and opportunities for homelessness to be addressed in the form of a global goal, starting with achieving a global measurement of the issue. Although the UN agenda doesn’t ignore the need for housing – goal 11 is to ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services, and upgrade slums by 2030; the working group is encouraging increased efforts tailored to street homelessness around the world.

Read more here.

If there is news you would like to include in a future update, contact us here: http://www.ighomelessness.org/contact

Tackling Student Homelessness at The University of Washington Tacoma; Homelessness Declining in Vietnam; and More

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Student Homelessness Project in Tacoma, Washington

As a joint effort between the Tacoma Housing Authority (THA), local real estate developers, and The University of Washington Tacoma’s (UWY) Associated Students (ASUWT), new housing units across UWY will be allocated to students experiencing or at risk of homelessness. THA also pledged to fund 1 million dollars toward ASUWT’s Student Homelessness Project. According to the student group’s Legislative Liaison, Adán Espino Jr., there is a significant number of local students facing homelessness and the purpose of this project.

“When you are homeless, everything around you is impacted in a profound way. You’re in a totally different world and state of mind, where you’re trying to survive instead of getting an education. These apartments will help change that, where students will go from ‘surviving’ to ‘living’ and get their education,” said ASUWT President, Armen Papyan.

Read the article here.

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Boroughs of London, UK Collaborate to Tackle Homelessness

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In efforts to increase adequate housing accommodation for families at risk of homelessness in London, UK, 11 of the city’s boroughs are joining forces. According to the Guardian, The Capital Letters programme is expected to help more than 35,000 households exit homelessness over the next three years.

“Through collaboration, boroughs will collectively strengthen our market position and secure much better housing options for homeless Londoners,” said Darren Rodwell, the city council’s Executive Member for housing and planning.

Read the article here.

Homelessness Decreasing in Vietnam

Data gathered by the government over the last few years shows that poverty has declined in Vietnam. According to Phung Duc Tung, Vietnam Economist and director of the Mekong Development Research Institute in Hanoi, the country lacks a strong safety net for families in inadequate living conditions. Although the country has welfare policies to help the elderly, the disabled and other subpopulations, Tung suggests that Vietnam establish policies for other groups, such as families, and enlist assistance from non-governmental organizations.

“Sure, Vietnam might be among the top 10 fastest growing economies in the world. But what’s more important is whether that growth is carrying all our people along,” said Tung.

Read the article here.

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If there is news you would like to include in a future update, contact us here: http://www.ighomelessness.org/contact

Cape Town, South Africa Looks at Street Homelessness; Alaska Leaders Collaborate to Tackle Homelessness; and More

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Street Homelessness in Cape Town, SA

A panel of municipal officials and local nonprofit leaders convened to discuss homelessness throughout Alaska. According to Kristen Swann of Alaska Public Media, the group stressed that homelessness impacts Alaskans of all ages, in urban and rural areas alike. Among the group was Bryan Butcher, CEO of the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation and chairman of the Alaska Council on Homelessness, who shared plans of collaborating with the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority and other partners to address the issue more efficiently. Butcher suggests that local leaders put more effort into defining homelessness in rural areas. The Alaska Homeless Management Information System shows that service providers reached more than 4,500 people across the region this year.

Read the article here.

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Alaska Municipal League Panel: Homelessness impacts Alaskans of all ages, in urban and rural areas alike

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A panel of municipal officials and local nonprofit leaders convened to discuss homelessness throughout Alaska. According to Kristen Swann of Alaska Public Media, the group stressed that homelessness impacts Alaskans of all ages, in urban and rural areas alike. Among the group was Bryan Butcher, CEO of the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation and chairman of the Alaska Council on Homelessness, who shared plans of collaborating with the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority and other partners to address the issue more efficiently. Butcher suggests that local leaders put more effort into defining homelessness in rural areas. The Alaska Homeless Management Information System shows that service providers reached more than 4,500 people across the region this year.

Read the article here.

The BCN – NYC Affordable Housing Challenge

Barcelona, Spain has set a goal to double the number of affordable housing units in the city over the next decade. The New York City mayoral administration has committed to building and preserving affordable homes for 300,000 families. Building on these efforts, the Barcelona City Council and the City of New York are launching the BCN – NYC Affordable Housing Challenge. The two cities are seeking innovative technologies and tools to shorten project timelines, reduce costs, and promote cleaner and more sustainable industry, thus driving reductions in costs of construction and rehabilitation in dense urban areas. The ultimate goal is to make housing more affordable for everyone. The deadline for submitting proposals for the challenge is Thursday, January 31, 2019.

Read more here.

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Scotland’s Ending homelessness and rough sleeping: action plan

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The Scottish government has assembled a high action plan to drive toward ending homelessness and rough sleeping across Scotland, UK. The plan presents a wide range of measures needed to help prevent homelessness and ensure that if it occurs, people are provided housing quickly and effectively. The plan discusses the importance of lived experience; outlines a nationwide performance framework; and includes comprehensive set of recommendations from The Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group and the Local Government and Communities Committee. Aileen Campbell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, says that this plan “sets the direction for real and lasting change towards ending homelessness”.

Read the plan here.

If there is news you would like to include in a future update, contact us here: http://www.ighomelessness.org/contact

A Way Home Europe; Street Homelessness in Taipei, Taiwan; and More.

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A Way Home Europe

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The efforts of A Way Home Canada have inspired communities, states and other countries to join their international movement for change in the homelessness sector. Europe has now joined the A Way Home (AWH) initiative. The continent will engage in shared learning about effective solutions in policy, practice and planning for preventing and ending youth homelessness. In the coming months, AWH will be working with partners from around the world to draft and build consensus on shared international principles that will guide their movement. A Way Home Europe will launch in Spring 2019.

Read the blog here.

Solutions for Individual Homeless Adults: A National Conference

The National Alliance on Ending Homelessness (NAEH) will hold the Solutions for Individual Homeless Adults: A National Conference on February 21-22, 2019 in San Diego, California, USA. The convening will consist of expert presentations, panel discussions, interactive learning sessions, and networking opportunities. According to NAEH, the largest group of people experiencing homelessness is individuals living on their own. Stakeholders from across all sectors will gather to examine what is known about people who are experiencing homelessness without their families. The conference will also be an opportunity for participants to discover new ways to help end homelessness among this population.

Register here.

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The Other Taipei: On The Front-lines Helping the Homeless

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Ben Cheney of New Bloom explores the state of street homelessness in Taipei, Taiwan through interviews with Ku Teng-ju of the Homeless Taiwan Association and Chu Yi-jun of the Wanhua Social Welfare Service Center – a division of Taipei City Government’s Department of Social Welfare. Teng-ju estimates that nearly 3,000 people could be living without shelter throughout the city. He suggests that stagnant wages and increased cost of living over the past two decades has contributed to the issue. In addition, aging and poor health, leading to lack of employment, could also be a large factor. Cheney also discusses the demographics of people lacking shelter across different districts of Taipei. Yi-jun suggests that solving the local housing crisis and working to eliminate stigmas surrounding homelessness would help solve the issue.

Read the article here.

If there is news you would like to include in a future update, contact us here: http://www.ighomelessness.org/contact

IGH Joins Rijeka, Croatia to Collect Data; Auckland, New Zealand Counts Street Homelessness; and More

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Ira Mata, Ira Tangata: Auckland, New Zealand’s Homeless Count

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Over 700 people took to the streets of Auckland, New Zealand to conduct a point-in-time count of people experiencing homelessness. According to Toby Manhire of The Spin Off, volunteers spread from Pukekohe to Warkworth to collect information on the current state of street homelessness. Local homelessness agencies plan to utilize the data to improve allocation of support services. The count was organized by the housing first collective of five community organizations, and supported by the Auckland City Council.

“This will help the community take another step forward to help end homelessness,” said Chris Farrelly, the ‘grandfather’ of street counts in Auckland. Initial figures of the count will be announced on World Homeless Day, October 10, 2018.

Read the article here.

Tackling Homelessness and Meeting Housing Need Conference

The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) will host the Tackling Homelessness and Meeting Housing Need Conference on December 5-6, 2018 in Northampton, England. The conference is an opportunity for housing professionals throughout England to convene and consider key policy and strategic issues in homelessness and housing. The Institute encourages senior and front-line members of staff; staff working in the voluntary sector; and members of health and welfare agencies to attend the conference. With a wide range of delegates attending, CIH suggests that this will also be an opportunity for organizations to network and develop new professional relationships.

Register here.

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The Centre for Homelessness Impact Looks at Evidence in England

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In the Centre for Homelessness Impact’s Making Better Use of Evidence to End Rough Sleeping in England blog, Dr. Lígia Teixeira discusses how an evidence-based framework could compliment England’s forthcoming strategy to resolve street homelessness. Dr. Teixeira suggests that such a framework could help the country monitor its progress, while focusing on impact rather than activity and costs. According to The Centre, there are three key steps to move this agenda forward; 1) draw on bodies of evidence and build the evidence of what works; 2) focus on improvement and 3) build local capacity for evidence use. They encourage the use of reliable evidence on homelessness and related issues in government and sector-wide operations for the development and implementation of effective public policy.

“Greater investment in experimentation and evaluation would not only help the government meet its goal to end street homelessness in England, but ensure it does so sustainably and permanently.”

Read the blog here.

Rijeka, Croatia Conducts Street Homelessness Count

The Institute of Global Homelessness (IGH) joined city leaders and volunteers in Rijeka, Croatia to learn more about the state of local street homelessness. Rijeka is the fifth vanguard city to join the IGH A Place to Call Home Campaign. Sister Veronika Mila Popić, Director of Depaul Croatia and head of the Rijeka House of Refugees, and Dragica Marač, Head of the County Social Policy Department and Youth, lead the outreach initiative. Upon joining the campaign, Marač expressed the city’s goal to identify the number and location of people living without shelter by the end of 2018. The first steps toward providing emergency accommodation are already underway.

Read the article here. (This article’s original text is in Croatian)

Learn about Rijeka’s goal here.

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Homelessness in America: Focus on Families with Children

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The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) released a brief called Focus on Families with Children exploring data and information on: the scale of family homelessness; knowledge about the families with children who experience homelessness; knowledge about patterns of homelessness among families with children; knowledge about families’ risks for experiencing homelessness; and the most significant gaps in available data and current understanding of families with children who experience homelessness. This brief is apart of USICH’s Homelessness in America series, which aims to build upon a clear understanding of who is at risk of homelessness, who experiences homelessness, and differences within and between sub-populations of people who are at risk or are experiencing homelessness.

According to the brief, families with children represent one-third of all people experiencing homelessness on a given night in America. Overall, the number of family households experiencing homelessness at a point in time declined by 27% between 2010 and 2017. USICH suggests that further research and data is needed several areas including documentation of the patterns and trajectories of homelessness among families living in rural areas; the impact of race, gender, and other demographic factors on entries into and exits from homelessness and more.

Read the report on the IGH Hub.

If there is news you would like to include in a future update, contact us here: http://www.ighomelessness.org/contact

England Plans to End Rough Sleeping by 2027; Adelaide, Australia Launches Online Tool to Track Rough Sleeping; Hong Kong Looks at Local Street Homelessness; and More

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Homeless Link: Homelessness Law, Practice, and the Homelessness Reduction Act Course

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Homeless Link will be holding knowledge courses on homelessness legislation and practice in the United Kingdom (UK). The next available classes will be held in Newcastle, UK on Tuesday, September 25, 2018, and in Manchester, UK on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 to help people working in the homelessness service sector develop an understanding of the updated Homelessness Reduction Act. Participants will learn about five key areas: eligibility for assistance, homelessness, priority need, intentionality and local connection. The aim is to help service providers best support clients to achieve their best housing outcome.

Register for the course in Newcastle here.

Register for the course in Manchester here.

Ending Rough Sleeping in England by 2027

The Communities Secretary of England, James Brokenshire, unveiled a new strategy to drive an end toward street homelessness throughout the country by the year 2027. The plan will offer targeted support, including assistance for mental health issues and substance abuse, to people sleeping rough. According to the Guardian, the Department for Communities and Local Government estimates that over 4,700 people were living without shelter in 2017. The government will take a three-pronged approach to the issue – prevention, intervention, and recovery.

“This strategy is about how we can support people, how we can direct, and yes, sometimes challenge, some of those who are living rough to get into those services that will help make a difference,” said Brokenshire.

Read the article here.

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Indianapolis, Indiana Community Plan to End Homelessness

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The Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention (CHIP), the Indianapolis Continuum of Care, and their community partners collaborated to assemble a five-year, comprehensive plan to end homelessness by the year 2023. They define this as: ensuring that any individual or family in Indianapolis who experiences homelessness will spend no more than 30 days without a permanent, safe, affordable place to live. The plan supports strategies outlined in Opening Doors – the United States’ first national comprehensive plan – and was developed by local agencies, advocates, and people with lived experience of homelessness in Indianapolis. The plan introduces the city’s strategic priorities and their strategies to achieve them. Strategic Priority 3, for example, is to expand and enhance wraparound services to enhance housing stability and prevent returns to homelessness. They also map out strategies for addressing homelessness among specific populations – veterans; youth and young adults; families; and people who have experienced chronic homelessness. Indianapolis leaders are continuing to build on a shared approach to make homelessness in their city rare, short-lived, and recoverable.

Read the plan on the IGH Hub.

Where Do Hong Kong’s Rough Sleepers Go?

According to figures from Hong Kong’s Social Welfare Department, approximately 1,127 people reported to be experiencing street homelessness in the region between 2017 and 2018. About half of those people said that their inability to afford housing costs led to their homelessness. Other reasons include unemployment, the need to be closer to work, fleeing family conflict, and more. While few businesses in Hong Kong stay open for 24 hours, about half of the 240 McDonald’s do, making it a place that people utilize for temporary shelter. There are several temporary shelters available however, they sometimes go underutilized because some people prefer not to abide by shelters’ rules and regulations.

“If the government continues to avoid tackling the fundamental causes – the rocketing housing prices and the shortage of community infrastructure in the face of population expansion – social service providers like us won’t be able to cover the constantly growing homeless group, no matter how hard we work and how willing we are to serve,” said a local social worker.

Read the article here.

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Adelaide, Australia Launches Online Tool to Track Rough Sleeping

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As part of the Don Dunstan Foundation’s (DDF) Adelaide Zero Project, Adelaide, Australia launched an online dashboard that tracks the number of people sleeping rough. The tool also keeps a record of how many people have been moved into secure housing. Executive Director of DDF, David Pearson, says that the effort can help bridge the gap in public awareness of the city’s street homelessness. The foundation’s goal is to maintain the dashboard as close to real time as possible. The Adelaide Zero Project has connected over 35 organizations, with the goal to make Adelaide the first Australian city to achieve functional zero homelessness in the inner-city by 2020. Adelaide is also the second city to join our A Place to Call Home Campaign, a global effort to support 150 cities to end street homelessness by 2030.

Read the article here.

Tshwane Holds Employment Expo for People Experiencing Homelessness

Tshwane, South Africa’s Metro Department of Community and Social Development held an expo to connect people experiencing homelessness with local organizations who can help them with employment. Deputy Director of Welfare Services, Tinyiko Maluleke, says that the city has revised their plan to address local homelessness. More than 150 people attended the event. Read more about Tshwane’s efforts to reduce homelessness as a vanguard city in the A Place to Call Home Campaign here.

Read the article here.

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If there is news you would like to include in a future update, contact us here: http://www.ighomelessness.org/contact

Understanding Rural Homelessness in Canada; Housing Over 500 People in Auckland, New Zealand; and More

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FEANTSA’s 13th European Research Conference on Homelessness

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In partnership with the Metropolitan Research Institute Budapest and Foundation Budapest, FEANTSA will host the 13th Annual European Research Conference on Homelessness in Budapest. This year, the Social and Economic Integration of Homeless People themed conference will explore evidence on levels of and opportunities for social and economic integration of people experiencing homelessness, as well as the broad theme of homelessness and housing exclusion, in Europe and elsewhere. FEANTSA and their partners welcome presentations on policies and practices that address social integration and labor market participation of people experiencing homelessness throughout Europe. The deadline to register is August 31, 2018.

Register here.

Rural Homelessness in Canada

Homelessness is often misunderstood as an issue that only occurs in large, urban areas. According to Malaika Taylor of the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, street homelessness occurs in rural areas but often goes unnoticed or is hidden. Many people experiencing homelessness in rural areas are reluctant to acknowledge their situation. Sometimes, they are also discouraged from utilizing services and resources in city regions, due to barriers that limit accessibility. Lack of recognition of homelessness in rural communities can contribute to funding deficits for efforts to address the issue. In addition, services tailored to marginalized populations and their distinct lived experiences are sometimes non-existent. Fortunately, research on rural homelessness is increasing.

Read the article here.

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On my own two feet: why do some people in the United Kingdom return to rough sleeping after time off the streets?

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A team of peer researchers at St. Mungo’s Recovery College with lived experience of homelessness conducted a research project to explore reasons why people return to rough sleeping. They identified four key areas of analysis, push factors; pull factors; holes in the safety net; and access to services, and wish to emphasize that all of the factors act together to create stress on a person that can lead to rough sleeping again. Many of the participants expressed experiencing more than one push factor, sometimes simultaneously. Some push factors identified in the study include eviction; leaving accommodation due to unmet needs, poor quality, isolation, or loneliness; and more. Pull factors identified include feeling competent in survival; feeling confident in their ability to meet basic needs; feeling ‘addicted’ to the streets; and the desire to live free from rules or constraints. Their research suggests that often times, people have repeat experiences of street homelessness because they lack protective factors that would increase their resilience against crisis. The research team makes a number of recommendations including: increased access to housing; increased support after exiting homelessness, specifically related to criminal victimization and offending; and furthering research on a number of housing related issues.

Read the report on the IGH Hub.

Housing First in Auckland, New Zealand

Over 500 individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Auckland, New Zealand have obtained permanent housing since Housing First was launched in the city in March 2017. Led by Lifewise and Auckland City Mission, the program design was unique because it incorporates insight from people with lived experience of homelessness. The latest housing first figures come as New Zealand anticipates Housing First founder Sam Tsemberis’s visit for a week-long workshop tour across the country.

“Listening to the expertise of those who have lived experience of homelessness is a key element of getting this right for Māori,” said CEO of Lifewise, Moira Lawler.

Read the article here.

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If there is news you would like to include in a future update, contact us here: http://www.ighomelessness.org/contact

Japan Sees Decline in Homelessness; St. Mungo’s Helps Women Experiencing Homelessness After Imprisonment; and More

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HUD Helps Fund Youth Homelessness Programs in the U.S.

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The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) distributed grants to help fund a wide range of housing initiatives, including rapid rehousing, permanent supportive housing, transitional housing, and host homes in 11 communities across the U.S., through its Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program. In total, HUD awarded $43 million to programs in San Diego, California; Louisville, Kentucky; Boston, Massachusetts; Northwest Minnesota; Nebraska; Northern New Mexico; Columbus, Ohio; Nashville, Tennessee; Vermont; and Washington, working to end youth homelessness. Over the next four months, these communities will develop and submit a coordinated community plan to prevent and end homelessness among youth to HUD.

Read the article here.

St. Mungo’s: Housing Women After Imprisonment

Ruth Legge from St. Mungo‘s Offender Services explains how the organization works with women in prison and after their release to help them find permanent housing. According to Legge, any individual exiting incarceration is at risk for homelessness, but women face a unique set of challenges. After losing custody of their children while imprisoned, many women can only regain custody if they have adequate accommodation following their release. However, their need for housing assistance may not be prioritized without the custody of their children. St. Mungo’s works alongside social services, statutory authorities and Reunite programs to support women in finding accommodation, with or without the custody of their children. Domestic violence can also affect a woman’s housing situation. Many women have a permanent residence upon release, but are unwilling to return because a violent partner still resides there. In addition, because women sometimes choose to live on the street rather than with a violent partner, they are deemed ‘”intentionally homeless”. In these cases, St. Mungo’s works with domestic violence teams to connect women to shelter if they will not return to their residence and assists them in appealing claims of intentional homelessness. The organization suggests that there be clear and consistent links between female offending, rough sleeping, and domestic abuse in order to improve efforts to support the women affected.

Read the article here.

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Australia’s National Homelessness Conference 2018: Ending Homelessness Together

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The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI), in partnership with Homelessness Australia, will host the National Homelessness Conference 2018 – Ending Homelessness Together, in Melbourne, Australia. Attendees will convene at Melbourne Cricket Ground on Monday, August 6 and Tuesday, August 7, 2018. The convening will provide policy makers and practitioners from across Australia the opportunity to learn, engage, and network. According to AHURI, the conference program will address a broad range of issues related to homelessness including housing models that end homelessness; responding to the causes of homelessness; specialist support, mental health issues; people experiencing homelessness after incarceration; outcomes reporting; and more.

Register here.

Japan Sees Decline in Street Homelessness

According to the most recent homelessness count conducted in Japan, the number of people living without shelter is the lowest it has been in over a decade. According to Kyodo of the Japan Times, in January, the Welfare Ministry reported that nearly than 5,000 people were experiencing street homelessness. In Tokyo, Japan’s largest city, there were a reported 1,242 people observed on the city’s streets at that point in time. In several prefectures, including Aomori, Akita, Yamagata, Nara, Shimane and Nagasaki, no homelessness was reported. An official from the Ministry said that support measures from the government have helped to address the issue.

Read the article here.

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Child Separation among Families Experiencing Homelessness

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This brief is the seventh of The Homeless Families Research Briefs series commissioned by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The briefs build on HUD’s Family Options Study. It provides a detailed analysis of factors that may affect a child’s risk of being separated from their family while experiencing homelessness. Nearly 40% of families involved in the study reported that their child was separated from them before or during their stay in an emergency shelter. The study suggests that housing instability, both before and after a stay in emergency accommodation, is correlated with child separation.

Read the brief on the IGH Hub.

If there is news you would like to include in a future update, contact us here: http://www.ighomelessness.org/contact

Greater Manchester, England Works Toward Ending Rough Sleeping; The U.S. Department of Education Addresses Student Homelessness; and More

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Centre for Homelessness Impact: Why reliable evidence matters

The Centre for Homelessness Impact reflects on Evidence Week – an initiative led by Sense about Science and other agencies in the United Kingdom (UK). The initiative aims to explore the significance of evidence and data across a number of different fields of work and service and to encourage legislators to “consider the merits of evidence-based policy and legislation”. The last day of the week featured a panel of experts on homelessness who discussed new research on solutions to tackle the issue. Barriers to utilizing evidence were also examined. According to member of parliament (MP), Mary Creagh, systemic and structural challenges in translating evidence to the parliament may make it difficult for members to design evidence-based policies.

Norman Lamb MP said “if you are passionate about making a difference to mankind, you will only succeed in that by following the evidence of what works”.

Read the post here.

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The U.S. Department of Education Addresses Student Homelessness

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“Every night we stayed in a different motel. The only thing I could control was my grades. The feeling of getting an A at the end of the term was all I needed to remind me that I would survive, in and out of school”, said Latte Harris.

The United States Department of Education’s Youth Engagement Team hosted a session that provided students the opportunity to discuss the challenges of experiencing homelessness while trying to pursue an education. Harris shared her lived experience of homelessness during high school. As she explained, many students are overwhelmed with having to worry about both their academic performance and their struggles to meet their basic, everyday needs. The Department has a team dedicated to addressing the needs of students affected by homelessness. Programs, such as The Education for Homeless Children and Youths Program, aim to help youth and families navigate the obstacles associated with inadequate living conditions to ensure students are able to achieve their academic goals.

Read the article here.

FEANTSA’s Ending Homelessness Awards 2018

Following the success of their 2017 inaugural awards, the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA) will recognize innovative projects funded by the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) at this year’s Ending Homelessness Awards. FEANTSA hopes that the Awards will provide agencies the opportunity to showcase how FEAD is helping combat homelessness throughout Europe and inspire other projects seeking financial assistance from the fund. All three winners will be invited to present their projects at the 2019 FEANTSA Policy Conference. The award ceremony will be held on Tuesday, November 2, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. The deadline to apply is Friday, September 14, 2018.

Apply here.

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Greater Manchester 2020 Vision: “A whole society response”

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Mayor Andy Burnham of Greater Manchester, England has set an ambitious goal to end rough sleeping throughout the city by the year 2020. Jess McCabe of Inside Housing reports on the city’s progress thus far. The local government’s most recent count, conducted in November 2017, suggests that rough sleeping had increased by 40% over a one-year span. Beth Knowles, mayoral lead on homelessness and rough sleeping and Mike Wright, strategic lead on homelessness at Greater Manchester Combined Authority, have been doing “hard legwork to prepare the ground”. Knowles and Wright have several projects underway, aimed at housing people with complex needs, sleeping rough. In addition, a Homelessness Action Network was assembled to unite regional stakeholders to address the issue collectively. McCabe discusses recent changes in legislation that can help drive the city toward the 2020 goal, such as funding used to house people experiencing chronic homelessness via the Social Impact Bond and new homelessness prevention duties enforced through the Homelessness Reduction Act.

“We will do everything to get to that point, and if we fall slightly short, we fall slightly short, but it’s much better than we were at the beginning”, said Knowles.

Read the article here.

San Francisco, California Homelessness: A view of progress

Jeff Kositsky, Director of San Francisco, California’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, drove around the Mission District and Mission Bay neighborhoods, pointing out blocks where homelessness encampments used to line the sidewalks. Kositsky said he is “thrilled” to see less of them. He and his team have connected about 792 people who used to live on these streets with temporary accommodation and supportive services. According to Kositsky, the city is making progress toward ending street homelessness, slowly but surely. San Francisco Mayor, London Breed, expressed her hopes to house the remaining population of people living without shelter. The San Francisco Chronicle suggests that Mayor Breed is in support of a proposal to increase taxes on businesses that can be allocated to fund more housing. Kositsky hopes to see improvement in policies for the allocation of housing, such as eliminating barriers that prioritize housing certain groups over others.

Read the article here.

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The State of Homelessness in Melbourne, Australia

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Calla Wahlquist of The Guardian Australia shares data on homelessness in Melbourne, Australia. Figures from the most recent biannual survey suggests that nearly 300 people were experiencing street homelessness within Melbourne in June 2018. These figures reflect an approximate 15% decrease from the number of people reported to be living on the city’s streets in 2016. Housing Minister Martin Foley described the reduction as an “encouraging sign” that their efforts are working.

“Ultimately, the solution is to get people into housing but pathways out of homelessness require a case-by-case solution,” said Arron Wood, Melbourne’s acting Lord Mayor.

Read the article here.

If there is news you would like to include in a future update, contact us here: http://www.ighomelessness.org/contact

Young Families Experiencing Homelessness in America; Homelessness Prevention in England; and More

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Missed Opportunities: Pregnant and Parenting Youth Experiencing Homelessness in America

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In this briefing, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago analyzes homelessness among youth who are pregnant or parenting. It is the third in Voices of Youth Count’s series of research-to-impact briefs on understanding and addressing youth homelessness. Voices of Youth Count is a national initiative to fill gaps in America’s knowledge about the scope and scale of youth homelessness. Research suggests that the nearly 4.2 million adolescents and young adults in America who have experienced homelessness during a 12-month period are pregnant or parenting. The adolescent or young adult stage in life can foster a unique set of challenges, such as having little or no experience living independently. Such challenges could make it difficult for them to effectively assume the responsibilities of parenthood. Chapin Hall recommends strengthening efforts around pregnancy prevention; relationship building; and service engagement.

Read the brief on the IGH Hub.

Ineffectiveness of Criminalizing Homelessness

Joseph W. Mead and Sara Rankin of City Lab discuss increased criminalization among the homelessness population across America. According to the reporters, restriction placed upon the population includes rules or laws that prohibits them from engaging in necessary, life-sustaining activities, such as sitting, standing, sleeping, or asking for help, without providing reasonable alternative. According to their research, professors at City Lab suggest that such enforcement is counterproductive and they encourage communities to refrain from punishing people who “live in public and have nowhere else to go”. Experts also argue that criminal enforcement makes it harder to exit homelessness.

“Jails and prisons make extremely expensive and ineffective homeless shelters,” said Mead and Rankin.

Read the article here.

Maxx Hamilton, 27, who has been homeless for 12 years, sits on the street in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S. April 13, 2018. Hamilton said her mother died when she was 14 and her father died when she was 20-years-old. Picture taken April 13, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson - RC1F3EC832D0

Homelessness among Families in Chicago

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For the first time, the city of Chicago’s official database for homelessness among individuals, maintained by All Chicago, and data collected by Chicago Public Schools, that analyzes student homelessness, has been combined to draw figures of family homelessness in a new study. Mark Brown of the Chicago Sun Times reports that approximately 10,000 families experienced homelessness in Chicago at some point during the past year, according to the study. It also provides demographic insights into homelessness among families. Based on the study, advocates led by the Corporation for Supportive Housing urge the city and state to increase funds toward homelessness prevention and to make families living in inadequate – overcrowded – conditions eligible for services.

Read the article here.

Homelessness Prevention Legislation in Cornwall, England

According to the head of Cornwall, England’s Housing Strategy and Partnerships department, Mel Brain, nearly 6,000 families reported that they felt they were at risk of homelessness in 2016. Under new law, households can be classified as ‘homeless’ within 56 days of an eviction notice, compared to the previous 28-day time-frame. This increase can allow households more time to improve their situation before being forced into homelessness. In addition, local authorities are now required to provide such households with assistance prior to eviction.

“If someone is homeless or threatened with homelessness we need to carry out an assessment and you then have to set out a housing plan which sets out what steps they need to take to prevent homelessness,” said Brain.

Read the article here.

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